A Prayer of Gratitude

If you are at all like me, you probably find it easy to pray those prayers of petition (“Please give me…”) but far more difficult to pray those prayers of gratitude (“Thank you for…”). Here is some valuable assistance from The Valley of Vision. O My God, You fairest, greatest, first of all objects, My heart admires, adores, loves You, For my little vessel is as full as it can be, And I would pour out all that fullness before …

The Fullness of Beauty

One of the most important books I have ever read is a book about joy and wonder. Steve DeWitt’s Eyes Wide Open impacted me in many ways, but perhaps foremost by opening my eyes to the beauty behind the beauty. Here is a short quote in which he describes our problem with beauty. Creation is beautiful precisely because its Creator is beautiful. God defines beauty by His very essence. He is the source and standard of all beauty. But the …

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Hand in Hand, Heart Linked to Heart

My sister shared these words with me–words written by Susannah Spurgeon after the death of her husband Charles. She reflects on life together and the Lord who gives and takes away. They are sweet and precious words. I have traveled far now on life’s journey; and, having climbed one of the few remaining hills between earth and Heaven, I stand awhile on this vantage-ground, and look back across the country through which the Lord has led me. A well-defined pathway …

Be Kind to Your Little Children

Be kind to Your little children, Lord. Be a gentle teacher, patient with our weakness and stupidity. And give us the strength and discernment to do what You tell us, and so grow in Your likeness. May we all live in the peace that comes from You. May we journey towards Your city, sailing through the waters of sin untouched by the waves, borne serenely along by the Holy Spirit. Night and day may we give you praise and thanks, …

How To Lose Your Zeal for Christ

Are you zealous for Christ? Do you have a genuine zeal to live for him and to advance his cause in the world? Or have you lost the zeal that once marked you? Here, courtesy of Joel Beeke and James La Belle are 9 ways you may lose your zeal. Major in speculative religion. Speculative religion is religion whose primary concern is that which is theoretical or conjectural. Look to the pastoral epistles and you will often find Paul warning …

3 Types of Fool

In his book Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion, Os Guinness portrays three types of fools in the Bible: The Fool Proper, The Fool Bearer, and The Fool Maker. I found it a fascinating discussion. There are three types of fool in the Bible, and Erasmus restored the way of the third fool to recover the power of subversive persuasion in order to make his point. His point is crucial to our discussion, for the way of the …

The Incomparable Christ

All across the world today, Christians are gathering to worship. They worship Jesus Christ. Why? This great little quote (published as “The Incomparable Christ”) tells us: More than nineteen hundred years ago, there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood. He …

The Best and Highest Study

I am gearing up to join a few hundred people in reading J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. And as I began to read, I encountered this powerful quote from Charles Spurgeon, the introduction to a sermon he preached when he was just 20. Spurgeon called upon his church to commit themselves to the study of God–the best and highest study of all. It has been said by some one that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose …

Why Satan Is So Skillful at Tempting Us to Sin

Satan is a formidable foe. He opposes all those who are created in the image of God and is bent on their complete and utter destruction. What makes Satan so skillful at tempting us to sin? In his little book Fighting Satan, Joel Beeke offers 6 reasons. Satan’s Spiritual Being and Intellectual Power When people tempt each other, they do so with overt actions. For example, Joseph tempted his brothers’ devotion to their youngest brother, Benjamin, by asking his steward …

Explaining the Problem Does Not Eliminate the Problem

To be human is to feel guilt. At least, to be a sinful human is to feel guilt. And most often we feel guilt precisely because we are actually guilty–guilty of offenses against man and God. R.C. Sproul addresses guilt, and the right and wrong ways to approach it, in this little quote from Pleasing God. A sad commentary on contemporary life is the frequency with which counselors seek to relieve people’s guilt problems by focusing on the removal of …